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Mindful self-care isn’t just a buzz word, or for women who spend their days shopping or drinking champagne in their bubble bath. Self-care allows you to slow down, focus on yourself for a bit so you can relieve stress, calm your mind and body, and reclaim their work-life balance.
If you dug deeper, perhaps you’d agree that self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting our own well-being and pursuing happiness. It involves having the ability, tools, and resources to respond to periods of stress so that we don’t become imbalanced, which can lead to a health crisis.
Any career can be stressful, but when you’re the one in charge, that stress can sometimes be a lot heavier and this can take a toll on you. In order to protect your mental and physical health, you need to find ways to practice mindful self-care.
Online entrepreneurs often get so wrapped up in the tasks they have to complete each day that they fail to recognize when they begin to get drained. They power through until they inevitably suffer from burnout.
Good friend, you want to prevent situations where you push yourself to the point where you become less productive. It’s better to find a steady pace for your activities as a marketer so that you get to choose your down time, rather than being forced to take it because you’re suffering so badly.
There are several ways you can ensure that your emotional and physical health are in tip top shape. You want to be able to recognize when something is off and know what to do to get yourself back on track so that you can be a good leader for your niche audience.
What is Self-Care?
Let’s start by looking at what self-care is. Obviously, you know it’s about taking care of yourself, but do you know exactly what it is?
While it’s a common term that is thrown around a lot these days, many people are still unaware of what self-care means. This is because it is often explained in a very vague way.
Self-care is about taking care of yourself the same way you take care of others. It is about knowing what your mind and body needs. You’ll know when to step back to replenish your resources and you’ll show self-compassion.
There is a common misconception that self-care relates to anything that makes you feel good. While a lot of self-care tasks do make you happier, not all self-care feels good. For example, you may think over-indulging in food is self-care because you enjoy it. However, this would lead to additional health issues, if you were to continue over-indulging.
So, self-care is more about doing things that are good for the mind and body. The question is, why is it so important?
Why is Self-Care So Important?
If you want to live a long and happy life, it’s crucial you look after your health and wellbeing. Self-care is how you ensure your mind and body are functioning as well as they can.
Some of the main benefits of self-care include:
- Improved physical and mental health
- You’ll feel more energized
- Improvement in self-esteem
- It helps to fight off disease
- You’ll be better able to help others
When you ensure your body has everything it needs, you’ll see a drastic improvement in your physical and mental health. It really helps to boost the immune system, fighting off illness and disease. Studies have revealed that self-care activities stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. This basically means your body goes into rest mode, helping it to recharge and relax.
As self-care helps you to sleep better, this also leads to you feel more energized throughout the day. It also combats stress, which in turn can have all kinds of awesome benefits such as improvements in your relationships.
Those who don’t take care of themselves, often suffer with lower self-esteem. So, if you’re looking to feel more confident, taking care of your needs is a good place to start.
These are just some of the reasons why self-care is so important. Remember, it’s hard to be there to help others when you aren’t taking care of yourself first.
How to Practice Mindful Self-Care
Mindfulness is a popular form of self-care. It helps you to focus on the present, calming the mind and body. By practicing mindfulness, it helps you to better regulate your emotions.
You’ll also be able to use it to control your emotions when needed. For example, if you start to feel overly anxious, you can calm the mind by taking deep, mindful breaths.
Make Sure Sleep and Energy Are Being Prioritized
Sleep is usually the first self-care habit to get pushed aside in an entrepreneur’s life. That may be because you’re excited about building your business or about leveling up one that’s already established.
But sleep is the very thing you must never neglect. It’s true that not everyone needs the same amount of sleep. You may only need five hours a night and you feel great with it. Or you might need to sleep the average seven to eight hours a night.
The key is to do what works for you, but to make that a priority. Part of practicing mindfulness is to shut everything down that you’re working on, that is work related or is a device like a laptop or cell phone at least forty-five minutes prior to heading to bed.
That’s because your brain needs this time to start to decompress and break from the engagement it was immersed in. Do something relaxing such as listening to soft music or taking a warm bath.
Create A Daily Routine
Deliberately create a daily routine that takes care of you. When you’re taken care of, so is your business. But without you being at your best, your business could suffer. Traditionally, most people follow a scheduled routine.
They go to bed at night and get up the next morning to begin working. While that might be fine for the majority of entrepreneurs, you might struggle to make this your way of life.
If you’re following a schedule because it’s considered the “normal,” but you always feel like you’re kind of lagging, then you should stop. It serves no purpose for you to force yourself into a routine that doesn’t fit.
It’s like being a square peg that’s tries to fit into a round hole and it never feels like it’s your best way to run your business. Forget doing what you think everyone else is doing and instead, focus your time spent working when your energy level is at its highest.
Not everyone is going to feel energetic in the mornings and that’s okay. You may feel that way. When you get up in the mornings, you might have a low energy level and trying to work on your business could be more difficult for you.
Instead of trying to drum up the energy, figure out when you’re most energetic and go from there. It could be that your energy level is at its best in the early afternoon. That means as part of practicing mindfulness, you should arrange it so that your work day doesn’t start until then.
If you’re a night owl, you might discover that your best time to work is in the evenings when most people are getting off work. That’s okay, too. You’ll want to work when it’s best for you because that’s a good mindful self-care habit.
Recognizing Your Tribe
Part of mindful self-care is making sure that you have the support that you need – either online or offline. But it can be a good thing to have a tribe in both areas of your life as well.
You want to take the time to build your network of support because this will have an impact on your mental and physical health as well as your ability to focus and be productive.
Plus, a tribe can help support and boost your success rate. Many entrepreneurs skip the process of finding a tribe because they either don’t realize the importance of having one or they think being an entrepreneur is something that they’re supposed to do in solitude.
The biggest reason that you want to have a supportive tribe is because it’s not easy building a business. You’re going to experience trying times. You may also have days when you don’t know which direction to go.
Though you would eventually get through all of this, the struggle will take an emotional toll on you. When you’re in the thick of your struggle, it’s those emotions that can leave you feeling drained.
Mining Your Tribe
One thing that many entrepreneurs have in common is that when things get tough and it feels like nothing is going to work out, discouragement sets in. This happens because you feel alone in your struggle.
You can fall into the mistaken belief that you’re all alone and that no one else understands how you’re feeling. Having a tribe allows you to practice good self-care through all the difficult decisions you’ll have to make and the emotional impact you’ll experience.
Your friends and colleagues will also be there to help celebrate with you when you reach certain milestones, or you’ve achieved success. Having this type of support means you have access to others who can help you when you need answers.
For example, you might not understand a technical issue that you have to deal with on your website. But someone in your circle of friends online might know. By sharing their knowledge, they help alleviate that stress.
So tapping into your network of supportive people is a method of practicing good self-care. The best way to determine who needs to be in your entrepreneurial tribe is break it down by the level of expertise.
Leveraging Your Tribe
First. your circle should be made up of people who are at your level. If you’re a beginning entrepreneur just now starting to build a business, then the people in your tribe need to be new as well to keep you from feeling alone in your journey.
But your tribe should also have people in it that don’t have the knowledge that you have yet. That’s because having people like this in your tribe not only gives you support as they cheer you on, but allows you to stay sharp mentally by giving back.
The final part of your circle should consist of people that you can learn from. You want to be able to get help when needed, to see the efforts of others unfold who have made it through the struggles and are paving the path for you to follow in their footsteps.
If you build your tribe from family and friends and they’re not entrepreneurs, then this tribe should be people who will support you, but will also give you wisdom or help if you need it.
These should be people who encourage you, but aren’t afraid to tell you the truth, either. They need to be good listeners and people who support your dream, rather than ridicule you.
Stay on Top of Your Health
Building a business can be a great thing in your life. But it can also be something that makes you miserable and ruins your health if you don’t practice mindfulness. It can be scary to build a business only to have it crumble because you’re overworked.
Plus, being overworked can lead to devastating and serious health issues. Then everything that you were excited about and dreamed of doing businesswise could come to an abrupt halt.
If you practice mindful self-care, that won’t happen to you. There are numerous ways to stay on top of your health as an online entrepreneur. It’s a given that you should get plenty of sleep, because this is what’s necessary for your body to repair itself.
Plus, it gives you a much-needed break. It’s also understood that you should make sure you eat healthy meals and avoid bad eating habits, such as skipping breakfast or scarfing down sugary junk food to fuel your energy throughout the day.
You should exercise. Now if you’re absolutely swamped with your business and think there’s no way to take time off to hit the gym, you don’t have to do that. Instead, you can take the activities that you already do and use them to get in a workout.
For example, if you walk your dog, do so briskly. There are foot pedals you can place under your desk to cycle through part of your day. You can do tasks while standing up to ensure you’re not sitting 24/7, such as dictating your content into a smart phone.
Simple Care Routines
Having a list of self-care routines can make it easier for you to implement them when needed. Regularly engage in hobbies, because this is a way to relax and recharge. Make sure that you take time off even when you feel you can’t. It’s important to walk away from all things work-related – even if it’s only for half an hour.
Get some fresh air. Read a book. Watch a television show you like. Go have coffee with a friend. Spending time with other people may not seem like it’s part of self-care, but it is – because you need that emotional and social connection.
Part of mindful self-care is mental or emotional and you want to take care of this area of your life because it can affect you physically. Do things like pray or meditate. Learn about mindful breathing.
Journal about why you’re grateful and practice having gratitude each day. When you mess up, don’t engage in self-talk that’s harmful. Instead, learn how to give yourself the benefit of the doubt.
Be kind to yourself just like you would to a friend who sometimes falls short. Keep up with your health by going for regular checkups or screenings. Schedule and keep appointments with your doctor or dentist.
When you stay on top of your health, it helps you to be able to keep up with the demands of your business. Remember, if you suffer from an ailment, there’s no one else to step in and run the business for you, so self-care is a necessary task – not an option.
Say Goodbye to High Stress Situations
Stress is part of life and you’re always going to have it in some form or another, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t deal with it because stress is detrimental to your health. As an entrepreneur, it might feel like you get more than your fair share of stress.
But you can keep it under control no matter what that stress is. For example, when an issue happens in business – such as a project is stalled because some step didn’t work out – you can either allow it to be a big deal that ruins your day and stresses you out or you can choose to let go.
By letting it go, you can learn from it. It already happened, so you can’t change it after the fact. All you can do is control how you deal with business problems or disappointments.
That falls into the category of acting rather than reacting. If you react, you’re not always in control of your actions or your emotions. This can lead to greater stress. That’s because stress builds when you focus on the situation or rather the negative in the situation.
Keep your attention on the good things – on all the positive stuff that’s going on and understand that irritating things are going to happen when you’re running a business. Not everything has an immediate solution that’s going to make you happy.
Don’t waste your health getting worked up over things that are outside of your control. You shouldn’t allow frustrations to build. Get it out. Because when you let frustrations build, it boils over into stress.
That’s when you’ll find yourself angry, the stress rises and that can lead to you dealing with people and your business in a negative way. When the stress builds, call a time out to regain control over yourself and the stressful situation.
Improve Your Efficiency
Sometimes a situation becomes high stress because of poor planning. Don’t let the regrets become part of the stress. Just make a decision to plan better in the future. Sometimes the stress comes from unexpected setbacks.
Whether it was your fault or someone else’s fault or just one of those things, find the humor and the lesson in it. Stress can feel insurmountable, but it’s not. Recognize that even high stress situations are temporary.
They don’t last forever. In the future, the stress of today won’t even be a memory. You’ll have forgotten all about it and moved on. A stressful situation can be made worse due to having certain expectations.
You were expecting something that didn’t work out the way you wanted it to and you don’t like the results. Since you know that stressful situations are going to occur because they’re simply part of doing business, then have something in place to deal with them in a way that allows you to practice mindful self-care.
That means in the middle of the stress, take care of your health. Learn ways to cope and handle the stress if you don’t know how. Walk away if it’s something that can’t be resolved where walking away isn’t going to damage your business.
For example, if you have a client that stresses you out, you don’t have to keep that client. You can end that relationship. Cut the high stress situations or people out of your life if you can. For everything else, have a response already established that you can turn to when things are stressful.
Micro Manage Things That Threaten Your Personal Satisfaction
Every entrepreneur has things in their business that they don’t feel they can delegate because it could threaten their personal satisfaction. These things are needs or wants that make them feel fulfilled.
Though the term micromanage has sometimes been given a negative label, it’s not really a bad thing to do when the outcome matters to you. Entrepreneurs who practice micromanaging know exactly what they want and the outcome that they’re looking for.
They have a result in mind that they intend to see to fruition. By micromanaging, you can often keep negative situations from happening. Because you know your business or you have a solid level of skills, you can avoid making the mistakes that may happen if you hand over something to someone else.
There’s nothing wrong with being sure that the results turn out the way you want them. It doesn’t make you a controlling person. It makes you someone who cares about your business.
Should You Simply Do It Yourself?
Micromanaging can be a great way to practice self-care. Because when something is important to you, it has a greater potential to cause you a lot of stress if something goes wrong.
By doing it yourself rather than delegating it, you’re protecting yourself from having to deal with unnecessary stress. Doing it yourself lets you keep a closer eye on it as the project is unfolding and works as a preventative measure.
Or, if you do hand it over to someone else to do, you can still stay on top of the work being done. Micromanaging allows you to see and thwart issues that could lead to problems that might occur if someone else were in charge of it.
By handling what’s important to you for personal satisfaction, you’re giving the most value to the task at hand. Sometimes micromanaging is the best way to gain peace of mind.
The key to mindful self-care is being aware of what you don’t need to delegate and what you should because handling something might not be in your best interest. While micromanaging can be an effective way to get a task done correctly, if doing so threatens your peace of mind and causes you a lot of stress, then you need to know when to let go for the sake of your health.
Mindful self-care is a process. It requires practice and dedication if you want to make it stick. Don’t get discouraged if it takes time to make this new concept a part of your life. Ask yourself once a week or so if you’re giving yourself enough time and attention. Listen to your instincts. Make adjustments as necessary. Self-care is an ongoing and evolving process. It requires your constant attention.
Therefore, take time to assess your self-care needs regularly. This will also help to keep you on track. It’ll get easier, and you’ll probably find yourself craving your self-care activities so much you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. However, there will inevitably be times that are busier or more stressful when self-care may go by the wayside.
If you find that happening, be sure to follow the tips covered in this article to continue to take care of yourself going forward.